In the end, Arsenal’s dismal 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League was not in the least bit surprising.
Mikel Arteta’s side were bullied by their London rivals, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James enough to consign the Gunners to two defeats from their opening two games, with a lack of attacking threat also ensuring that thhey remain goalless too.
While Pablo Mari’s tough day at the office will be the focus of much of the post-match attention, his teammate Kieran Tierney produced one of his poorest displays in an Arsenal shirt.
The Scotland international looked all at sea in trying to cope with James down the right-hand side whilst having to be his usual attacking threat going the other way.
As per Sofascore, Tierney lost 100% of his duels over the course of the game, made no tackles and lost possession 14 times – only Nicolas Pepe lost the ball on more occasions with 15, and that’s despite the Ivorian playing the full 90 minutes, unlike the Scot.
While he gave it his usual effort and commitment, Chelsea’s tactics completely caught Tierney in a muddle, with the former Celtic man providing no successful crosses as he tried to venture forward.
It was no surprise then that Chelsea eventually took advantage of Tierney’s troubles for the second goal, with Mason Mount’s run infield drawing the Scot too far inside, allowing James to burst down on the overlap and fire past Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for The Evening Standard, Simon Collings gave him a four, saying: “One of his worst games for Arsenal. In fairness, he wasn’t given much help – but James did have a field day down his side.”
In a flat performance as an entire team, Tierney’s lacklustre display was particularly shocking, especially given just how well he performed against Brentford last week when he created a whopping six key chances.
Arteta will no doubt be feeling let down by the left-back’s performance on Sunday afternoon.